ALQ-99 RAM Generator Cover

Published on
Review Author(s)
Scale
1/48
MSRP
$6.50
Product / Stock #
QB 48 416
Base Kit
any 1/48 EA-6A, EA-6B, EF/A-18G carrying an ALQ-99 ECM jamming pod
Company: Quickboost - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Quickboost - Website: Visit Site
Parts Packaging

Quickboost is back again with a small accessory for an added finishing touch. They have been providing the modeling market with a whole series of useful aftermarket items that give a little extra detail or convenience at a very reasonable cost. These small sets tend to focus on one aspect of a model needing improvement – thus, the modeler can choose where to spend his energy, and money: on kit improvements. This small set from Quickboost provides some covers for the ALQ-99 ECM jamming pods found on the EA-6A, EA-6B, and EF/A-18G. Usually, these are seen on aircraft on static display at airshows, as I have yet to find some photos of them being used out in the fleet during operations, but I could be wrong.

In the Box

The bag with paper instruction insert comes with five resin parts, all identical. Casting is perfect, with crisp detail. The holes within the disc, and the center hole, all need to be opened up with a knife or drill, but other than that they are ready to be used. The instructions are a single simple diagram showing the placement of the disk cover over the turbine head of the ALQ-99 pod. No particular kit is given, as these are applicable for several kits on the market.

Installation

Quickboost took an interesting route in making these. The real cover is a one-piece molding (from what I can tell) that provides a disk to cover the blades, as well as the center which covers the hub of the unit. The resin doesn’t provide the entire cover, but only the disk part. So what Quickboost has you do is hollow out the center of the disk, and slip the disk over the kit blade unit. The kit’s hub would then fake as the covers hub portion also. Sounds like a plan; however, that makes the hub cover under-scale and you will need to fill in around the hub and resin disk. You will then need to paint the entire disk, including the kit hub, red to make it look all one piece. A better approach is to use some solid plastic rod, rounding off the end, and cutting the appropriate length to act as the hub cover portion. This can be glued to the resin disk. The kit part would then need to be modified and have the hub cut off, and the bladed portion glued to the rear of the disk, and the whole thing mounted to the ALQ-99 pod. This solves both the under-scale look and gap issue if using the hub of the kit part to fake as part of the cover.

I think that a better approach would have been if they had just molded the entire cover, hub, and blades as one unit for a quick kit part replacement. Quickboost could easily update this set with a simple extra pour of parts that included the missing portion of the cover. This could easily be glued onto the existing resin parts with no modification needed of the existing molds.

Also, pick up a pack of RBF tags, as each disk would have one attached.

Conclusion

These are a nice splash of color to a usually drab TPS airframe, and make a nice addition for those who enjoy adding RBF tags, plugs, and intake covers. It is an interesting approach they took to the part, but unfortunately misses the mark. However, the fix isn’t very difficult or time consuming, and Quickboost has still done the most difficult portion for us, so I still recommend this set if you desire some ALQ-99 covers. Just be aware a little tweaking will be needed.

Thanks to Aires/Quickboost for the review sample and IPMS/USA for allowing me to review it.

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